Dear Editor,

This upcoming election is important to everyone who pays taxes in Essex County.  We have some of the highest real estate taxes in the country, which given the recent changes in the Federal Tax law have impacted many Essex County residents.  Part of these costs are due to Salaries paid to our elected Freeholders.  Essex County Freeholders are responsible for:

  • Preparing and adopting the county budget.
  • Authorizing expenditures and bonds.
  • Appointing county officials and members to boards, commissions and authorities.
  • Passing on all claims against the county.
  • Supervising the administration of county government.

Or in other words spending Essex County Resident’s money.

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Essex County Freeholder’s pay themselves close to $38,000 a year.  Some of them attend two meetings a month and earn $1,583 per meeting.  This is more than some of the highest paid attorneys make for their equivalent time.  Almost 60% of NJ’s other 21 counties pay freeholders less than $25,000 per year   Backgrounds of your chosen board of freeholders include former or current School Board Union Presidents, Business Agents for Unions, Democratic Campaign Managers, Political Operatives, Chairs of Democratic Municipal Committee’s, Chief of Staff for Democratic State Senators and political Appointees to fill unexpired Terms.

Suffice it to say, that there may be an appearance of a conflict of interest given the fact that all of these chosen members are from one party and there is no mandated countervailing control in place to ensure that Freeholders execute their duties in the best interest of all the residents of Essex County.

Given our current political environment in Washington, we need to re-examine what is happening in our backyards.  We have a two-party system that is not working for us, especially when only one party governs all County government positions.  We need to have proper representation at all levels of government, and this begins with electing candidates that are qualified for their positions and represent Democrats, Republicans and Independent voters alike.  Only when all voices are heard will we be able to make the best decision for constituents.  I am supporting Adam Kramer of West Orange, Republican for Essex County Freeholder at Large.  I believe we need to start to make changes today for the good of Essex County.